Metrocare Hospital says that Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is an autoimmune disease that can cause joint pain, inflammation, and damage throughout your body.
The joint damage that RA causes usually happens on both sides of the body.
So, if a joint is affected in one of your arms or legs, the same joint in the other arm or leg will probably be affected, too. This is one way that doctors distinguish RA from other forms of arthritis, such as osteoarthritis (OA).
Rheumatoid arthritis symptoms
RA is a chronic disease marked by symptoms of inflammation and pain in the joints. These symptoms and signs increase during periods known as flares or exacerbations. Other times are known as periods of remission — this is when symptoms can disappear completely.
RA symptoms commonly affect joints in the hands, wrists, and knees, but can also affect tissues and organs throughout the body including the lungs, heart, and eyes.
Symptoms can include:
- pain or aching in more than one joint
- stiffness in more than one joint
- tenderness and swelling in more than one joint
- the same joint symptoms on both sides of the body
- loss of joint function and deformities
- low-grade fever
- loss of appetite
Symptoms can vary from mild to severe. It’s important not to ignore your symptoms, even if they come and go. Knowing the early signs of RA will help you and your healthcare provider better treat and manage it.
Rheumatoid arthritis treatment
There’s no cure for RA, but there are effective treatments that can help you manage it and prevent damage. Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) can require both patients and doctors to adjust as they figure out the best ways to treat the symptoms and slow the progression of the condition.
Recently, advances in treatment strategies have resulted in ever-improving outcomes and quality of life for those with rheumatoid arthritis. Treat to Target is a treatment philosophy that rheumatologists use to effectively manage this disease.
The treat-to-target approach has resulted in fewer symptoms and higher remission rates for those with RA. The treatment strategy involves:
setting a specific testing goal that signals either remission or low disease state
testing acute phase reactants and performing monthly monitoring to assess progress of treatment and management plan
switching medication regimen promptly if progress isn’t made
Treatments for RA help to manage the pain and control the inflammatory response. In many cases, this can result in remission. Decreasing the inflammation can also help to prevent further joint and organ damage.
Treatments may include:
- alternative or home remedies
- dietary changes
- specific types of exercise
- Your healthcare provider will work with you to determine the best treatment plan for your medical needs.
For many people, these treatments help them live an active life and reduce the risk of long-term complications.
What is Rheumatoid arthritis? Rheumatoid arthritis is a type of inflammatory disease that causes chronic inflammation in several joints. Metro Care Hospitals provides the best treatment for Rheumatoid arthritis. Consult our doctors today!